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International Space Station changes orbit awaiting tourist: report

by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Oct 4, 2008
The orbital path of the International Space Station (ISS) was successfully adjusted Saturday to accommodate the landing of the world's sixth space tourist in eight days time, Interfax reported citing Russian space programme officials.

"The maneouvre was conducted automatically," said an official from the Russian space control centre (TSOUP).

The ISS had to change its distance from Earth -- now 353 kilometres (200 miles) after the 1.25-kilometre adjustment -- to create optimal conditions for the arrival of a Russian Soyuz rocket carrying Russian cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov, US astronaut Michael Fincke and space tourist Richard Garriott.

The Soyuz TMA-13 is due to be launched from Kazakhstan on October 12.

Multi-millionaire US businessman Garriott is the son of US astronaut Owen Garriott. Richard Garriott paid more than 30 million dollars (20 million euros) to be launched into space from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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Astronaut vs. Earthlings chess game begins
Bellevue, Wash. (UPI) Sep 29, 2008
A unique chess match began Monday with an astronaut challenging Earthlings.







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